Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life Lessons From Biblical Characters | Abram and Sarai

Read Genesis 16:1-5

As we saw in our last Biblical Lesson post, Sarai was becoming fully aware that she was still very much barren, and she was becoming increasingly aware that she had an "option"- Hagar. This option was not one that hit her out of the blue either.  From other pastors, I have heard that this type of practice- the giving of a servant to be a surrogate mother for the woman of the house- was even mentioned in the Law of Hammurabi (which is said to be around the time of Abram and Sarai).  However, the Law of Hammurabi is not the law or plan that God had in mind for providing an heir.

Sometimes, we look to what the "law of the land" is, what is deemed acceptable to those aruound us, when we are looking for other options to what God has already told us. We have to make sure that we are not stepping out of God's will for our life when look around. 

Before I go on, please understand that I am not saying that adoption is wrong and/or out of God's will.  I know that there are some who struggle with fertility issues, and I believe that God has options for those who have difficulty having children. I personally know of several couples who have been in that situation and are now the happy parents of beautiful, adopted children.  I am saying that it was out of God's will for Abram and Sarai because He clearly said so earlier. 

However, sometimes as women, we tend to see a problem, and we immediately look for a solution (at least that is how I tend to be).  We look at our options, plan everything out in our minds how things will fall into place, and when it backfires...... we do what Sarai did.

We blame our husbands!

We do not take the credit for the complete flop that our plan was.  We do not take responsibility for the mess we made.  We do not tell God we are sorry for not waiting on His plan.  And we certainly do not apologize to our husbands because it was their fault to begin with, right?  Wrong!

I find it hilarious how Sarai came up with the plan for Hagar to become the surrogate, and then when Hagar becomes pregnant and despises Sarai (because it is now obvious that Abram was not the problem), Sarai turns around and tells Abram, "May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms; but when she saw that she conceived, I was despised in her sight.  May the Lord judge between you and me." 

Honestly, poor Abram!  I can just see him minding his own business when Sarai flies into his tent, points her finger at him, screams with hurt and anger, and then ends with having God judge between the two.  Can you see his eyes wide open, his speechless mouth dropping open, and maybe even how he leans back in his seat in complete shock?

The account does not end here, but we will. 

We need to make sure that when we begin to see options to situations that surface in our lives, that we stop looking around and we go before the Lord in prayer and lay it all out.  Sometimes that includes just breaking down, crying, and sharing with God how we really and truly feel when no one is looking, when we don't  have to worry about what others may think. 

We need to look to Him first and foremost before we start looking at our "options" and rush into hurting ourselves and our family for generations to come.  I'm sure that if Sarai could look ahead in time to see what the result of her quick decision, she would have put a stop to the thoughts of having Hagar step in to "help".  She might have been a bit more patient to wait for the answer that was still yet to come. 

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